Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's No Mystery...WhoDunIt? Is Closing

Above: Barbara and Oscar Soule make their final selections at WhoDunIt? bookstore in downtown Olympia. The store is closing, and will continue to stay open - but not for too much longer - to reduce its inventory.
After nearly 14 years, Linda Dewberry and her bookstore, WhoDunIt?, at 119 East 5th is in the process of closing and reducing its inventory.  For just $10 for a bag of books, you still have a little more time to try a genre you never knew you’d like or find books by your favorite authors.
Walking downtown today, I found Rick Stilson, a longtime volunteer for the bookstore, surrounded by bare shelves, helping customers Oscar and Barbara Soule pack up their selections. They ended up with two bags of books that will no doubt keep them occupied for awhile.

All my life, I rarely read fiction. My husband has been a regular patron of WhoDunIt? for years, and it was only recently that I discovered Nevada Barr and her series of adventures with Anna Pigeon, a National Parks ranger.  I was hooked, and scooped up titles at WhoDunIt? like Track of the Cat, The Rope, Firestorm, Blind Descent, Blood Lure, and Borderline. There's a lot more I haven't read.
Who would have thought I’d appreciate quick reading involving a bit of history about our national park system and getting my mind off the latest city or county agendas and controversies?

“Linda is ready to retire – since the economic downturn, things got progressively slower,” said Stilson, who has volunteered for Dewberry and the store since 2006. “She’s got a really big group of faithful volunteers. I come in every Monday. I’ve had a lot of good weeks, and not so busy weeks….” said Stilson. The store featured Northwest mystery authors, used, and new books. 
The store was for sale, but Dewberry could not find a buyer. The space is now for lease. In a note on the door, Dewberry says, “…This is a bittersweet moment for me. I’ve loved being a bookseller downtown, getting to know all of you. I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with family and the friends I’ve made through the store.”

Downtown Olympia still has Orca Books on 4th Avenue and Browser's Bookstore on Capitol Way, but has also recently seen the closing of Fireside Books on Legion Way and Last Word Books on 4th Avenue.
“We have a lot of loyal customers who will miss us,” said Stilson. Stilson said Dewberry will continue her book club at Orca Books.

On this last trip to the store, we discovered a climbing related series by author Clinton McKinzie.
The back cover of Point of Law says, “…For thirty years a father and his sons have shared an addiction to dangerous, extreme climbing in the world’s most beautiful places. This just might be their last dance together…now, with a beautiful renegade environmentalist by his side, Antonio embarks on a perilious journey through the jagged peaks….”

Hmmm….sounds like an adventure!
Above: The familiar owl painted at WhoDunIt? store, located next to the former Wind Up Here toy store.